Muscles should always be warm before you stretch them. Cold muscles are less pliable and stretching them could lead to injury. Make sure your muscles are warm either from:
- Any kind of exercise that raises your heart rate, including walking
- General daily activities like house cleaning, car washing or gardening
- A warm-up routine (see below)
Do each stretch for 30 seconds on each leg.
Stand with feet pointing forwards, about hip distance apart, front knee bent and back leg straight.
Press the back heel into the floor to feel the stretch on the back calf.
Hip flexor stretch
Get into the position shown, back knee on the floor, front knee bent and directly over the heel.
Ease the back leg out behind until you feel a stretch on the muscles at the top of the back thigh
Lie on the floor with one leg bent, foot flat on the floor. Gently pull the other leg towards you, holding onto it with both hands either on the calf or above the knee.
Hold the position when you feel the stretch along the back of the leg
From the hamstring stretch position, bend the top leg and rest the foot on the knee of the other leg. Hold onto the underneath leg and gently pull it towards you to feel the stretch in the top leg.
Inner thigh and hamstring stretch
Sit with your legs as wide as is comfortable for you
Rotate your upper body towards one of your legs
Hold onto the leg with your hands
Slowly lean over the leg until you feel the stretch in your inner thigh and at the back of your leg
More on warming up and stretching